Sad and Happy
By Greg Zambrano
Recently in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday, my kids and I prayed the Stations of the Cross at home.
Since there are 14 stations and I have two kids, so I decided to give one child the lead on the first seven stations, and the younger one the lead on stations 8-14.
We arrived at the recitation of the third station, and I noticed that they were mumbling their words and not too cheery. There were many things that I could assume as the reason for this. For instance, they didn’t want to pray right then, but I thought it something different.
Meditating on the actual Stations of the Cross, one can imagine that it is a sad reflection – our beloved Jesus is being punished, beaten and crucified.
After reflecting on their behavior, I told them that Jesus was treated horribly and died a terrible death, but by “their” holy cross, he has redeemed the world.
Acts 13:38 – “Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; and (verse 39) “and by him every one that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.”
It is sad that Jesus’ crucifixion and death took place, but it is part of his plan for the redemption of humanity. After Jesus resurrected, he tells the apostles, as found in Luke 24:46, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,” and verse 47 “and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
As we continued on with the Stations of the Cross as a family, I told them that it is not only sad, but it’s extremely joyful because of Christ’s triumph over death.
It is important not to emphasize only the sadness of our Catholic faith (the passion of Christ is a sad teaching). In his victory, Jesus promises a blissful smile because of the eternal life to come.
In Sermons 53, verses 1-2 and 4: “Our Savior’s passion raises men and women from the depths, lifts them up from the earth, and sets them in the heights.”
By remembering and meditating on our savior’s passion, we are reminded of Jesus’ love for us. His actions, sacrifice and devotion bring us to him in the eternal life. It joyfully lifts us up in spirit through faith on earth while we wait to be united with Christ in the eternal joy of heaven.